All Quiet On The Eastern Front


Zwei has a habit of making people mad and the list is long.

So, in an effort to even more people mad, I will recall a conversation I had a week or so back with a former NDP politician.

The former NDP politician wishes to remain anonymous as the person does not want to get harassing phone calls from the now premier’s Office.

There will be no Vancouver to Chilliwack rail service, because those in the NDP’s hierarchy do not want it and will invest only in official SkyTrain projects. As the former politico said joking; ” so please stop comparing the Broadway SkyTrain subway to a FastFerry project, even though it is.”

Why does the former NDP politico say this?

Past NDP/Liberal politicians and hanger-ons would be horribly embarrassed by any form of light rail operating anywhere in BC, as it would contradict preconceived notions based on previous private deals made to SNC Lavalin and Bombardier, holders of the proprietary SkyTrain light-metro’s patents. This includes the grand economies of the truth about cost, speed, capacity and safety.

University types would also be embarrassed by LRT, simply because it would refute the density quest for rapid transit theory they so favour, which are designed mainly to up-zone properties along the metro, for sales to overseas money launderers and handsome profits for land speculators.

The mainstream media would also be exposed for publishing almost 40 years of incompetent, non factual,  anti LRT rhetoric.

There is so much professional misconduct associated by current transit planning, that many jobs would be in jeopardy. It is just too simple to  continue to encourage the SkyTrain Lobby and the SkyTrain sheep to keep bleating SkyTrain good; light-rail bad routine.

On June 28, the Metro Vancouver’s mayor’s Council will rubber-stamp both the $3 billion Broadway SkyTrain subway and the $2.5 billion Surrey LRT, before a possible change in government and a change of transit policy.

Both projects have been planned by rank amateurs, with little or no rail background, abetted by land developers and land speculators, rubbing their hands gleefully at massive profits soon to be made with subway and light rail construction. Both projects, will run over budget; both projects will fail to attract new ridership.

The results of this foolish investment in prestige rail projects will not come into the fore until those making the inept decision, will be enjoying handsome retirement packages and perks.

I am saddened to say, unless an election hinges around a Valley rail service or returning a light DMU service to the E&N, Horgan and the NDP, just like Wilkinson and the BC Liberals, will happily spend billions on FastFerry style transit projects, designed to enrich politcal friends and insiders and to hell with the transit customer.



4 Responses to “All Quiet On The Eastern Front”
  1. Causa causans says:

    We look at Vancouver in complete gob-smacking incredulity.

    Sadly, the Vancouver taxpayer will find out far too late in the game, the vast planning fraud that has descended onto the city.

    Vancouver is indeed a lesson on not how to build transit.

  2. Ken says:

    Vancouver ranked #33 in world for commuting. Better than London, England. Toronto worst in North America. Vancouver is not so bad. All this skytrain bashing by zwei is not needed.

    Zwei replies: By who? If SkyTrain is so good, why has no one copied us?

  3. Haveacow says:

    Those types of commuter time comparisons are nearly meaningless because of how and what they measure! If you have ever been in a London or New York traffic jam you soon realize just how much these studies are really pieces of useless crap. Toronto has bad traffic but nowhere near as bad as most very large cities around the world. Remember, Toronto’s commuting region, “The Greater Golden Horseshoe” an actual legally defined region under Ontario law, has around 10,000,000 and is expected to be 11.5 Million around 2031, it’s very busy! These studies are designed to alarm commuters into buying needless digital driver aids or make a pointless political statements to commuters and or politicians, unwilling to change their commuter habits as well as make infrastructure investments.

  4. Haveacow says:

    This was written for Raise The Hammer, a Hamilton based website that has supported LRT development in that city since 2008. The anti-LRT people are now getting gittery because the final choice of operator, builder and financial provider is about to be chosen for their B-Line LRT. However, the new Premier of Ontario Doug Ford, is not a LRT fan. Oh the drama continues here in Hamilton. It has information about Ottawa’s Confederation Line and the possible new LRT Line in Alymer the western section of Gatineau Quebec, across the river from Ottawa.

    I have been very busy doing a project with a client here in Ottawa that deals with the change associated with LRT. I can’t say exactly what I am doing but it deals specifically the changes to long time commuting patterns of both the transit rider and the car based commuter environment post LRT.

    The first stage of the Confederation Line should (fingers crossed) start operating November 30, 2018. This line is set to change Ottawa in many profound ways, not just in terms of transportation. Both the Libreton Flats and Bayview Development Lands will essentially double the built up area of the city’s core in as little as 20 years. $2.5 Billion worth of buildings is already under construction!

    These changes alone, will alter how and where people do things in downtown Ottawa. Not just due to a new arena for the Sens and the new Central Library but a new downtown elementary School for the French speaking Public Board of Education, followed by an English one as well as a sport facility for both enabled and disabled athletes. A whole whack of condos and office space is also planned for both development sites, about 8000 units are planned. Some of it will be affordable and city housing is already going up on the existing Trillium line at the new Gladstone Station site, which will open as part of the LRT Stage 2 program in 2021. How much affordable housing is actually built on the Bayview and Libreton Flats site is still up for debate. I believe they will build the minimum that the developer agreed to but I doubt it will be more.

    As for the fear of change that drives a lot of pre LRT gitters and anti-LRT sentiment, you just have to ride it out! As the stations go up people are getting more excited here and the majority of the public is staying positive. Just as long as the system is ready for turn over to the city and the operator November 2 and ready for the start or rail operations November 30, 2018.

    Here is a video of the first Alstom Citadis Spirit LRV’s operating in 2 car consist that will be the common operating form for the Confederation Line once rail passenger operations begin.

    Alstom Canada (@AlstomCanada) Tweeted: Another milestone: first video of @ottawacity #CitadisSpirit operating in multi-unit during a dynamic test run! | Un autre jalon: la première vidéo du #CitadisSpirit d’Ottawa fonctionnant en unités multiples lors d’un test dynamique! #readyforrail #Alstom

    Here is another series of videos from CTV Ottawa

    The last video is about the city of Gatineau which is beginning it’s own LRT project to the western sector called Alymer (part of an amalgamation of several cities on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River). Gatineau already has a BRT Line (like our Transitways) called Rapi-Bus. The city has an urban population of 275,000 and another 50,000 living in the outer rural areas beyond.

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